Scottish Borders Council has agreed a £92m digital-services deal with IT and outsourcing giant CGI off the back of a contract with neighbouring City of Edinburgh Council.
The authority said the 13-year agreement would provide it with state-of-the-art technology to deliver excellent customer services and streamlined systems, and that CGI would establish a new service-delivery centre creating 200 new jobs within its bounds.
As part of the deal, a modern digital platform will be created to make it simpler for residents to interact with the council, and the authority’s current finance and HR systems will be replaced with a suite of business-management software.
Scottish Borders Council said that under the CGI contract its existing 49 ICT staff would remain as council employees, but that new opportunities would be created for local young people through modern apprenticeships.
CGI is the fifth-largest business-process services provider in the world, and already operates a service-delivery centre in Bridgend, south Wales. Last year City of Edinburgh Council agreed a £186m digital-services outsourcing deal with the firm.
Scottish Borders said its contract with CGI had been made via Scotland’s new public sector partner procurement process as a result of the Edinburgh deal. Scottish Borders was named as a partner by the city council throughout its ICT procurement process, allowing it to contract directly with the winning bidder. CGI announced the creation of 200 new jobs at the time of its August contract deal with Edinburgh.
As part of the Scottish Borders deal, six telephone exchanges will be “unbundled”, or opened up to different providers, allowing new high-speed broadband initiatives for schools, businesses and local communities.
Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker – pictured right – said the deal represented a “once in a generation” opportunity for the region that had been made possible by the return of rail services between Tweedbank and Edinburgh last year.
“Not only does it mean our existing ICT staff will remain in the Borders, but it will also bring a wide range of benefits and opportunities,” he said.
“We have always maintained our ambition for a growing and prosperous economy here in the Borders, especially on the back of the Borders Railway opening, and I am confident this contract is just the start.”
Tim Gregory, UK president of CGI – pictured left, said the jobs created under the partnership with Scottish Borders would “high value” opportunities that included digital and cyber-security roles.
CGI’s Bridgend service delivery centre, it’s only such facility in the UK, employs more than 800 people and supports around 200 clients ranging from the public sector to multinational businesses.